The United States Embassy near Monrovia on Friday, April 16, 2021 turned over three hand pumps it constructed for members of the Armed Forces of Liberia, their families and residents of the Edward Binyan Kesselly Military Barracks in Schefflin, Margibi County. The pumps are intended to alleviate the sufferings of the people at the barracks and surrounding environment.
Welcoming the guests at the well-attended program, the Brigade Commander of the EBK Barracks, Colonel Theophilus Dana said he was excited for the completion of the projects which will go a long way in alleviating the plight of the barrack and the surrounding communities when it comes to getting safe and potable drinking water. He said before then, the residents used to get out of the barracks to nearby bushes to fetch water from unsafe wells and streams which have resulted in some ailments but fortunately there was no report of any outbreak of any epidemic.
He promised that the facilities will be well maintained and utilized for their intended purpose.
Turning the keys of the pumps to Deputy Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of Liberia, Brigadier General Geraldine Janet George, the Deputy Chief of Mission at the US Embassy, Ms. Alyson Grunder said the gesture to construct the hand pumps is in recognition of the historic ties between Liberia and the United states of America, especially from the military setting where the US government over the years has provided assistance to the Liberian military.
She said it was something worthy to do when they got the request from the Deputy Minister of Defense for Operations, Mr. Prince K. Vincent explaining about the extreme difficulties the personnel of the AFL, their families and residents were going through to get water for their convenience. The US diplomat assured the government of the willingness of the US mission to assist in whatever way possible for the good of the people of Liberia.
Receiving the keys from Ms. Grunder, AFL’s Deputy Chief of Staff, General Geraldine Janet George, said it was a happy day for the people of the EBK and expressed delight to join every one for this historic occasion.
She said it has always been the resolve of the authority of the AFL to seek the welfare of the personnel of the AFL as this will go a long way to boost the working spirit of the army. She assured the US mission that the hand pumps will be properly utilized.
Also speaking at the occasion, Mr. T. Olandrous Dickson, Deputy Minister of Defense for Administration, extended thanks and appreciation on behalf of President George Manneh Weah, the government and people of Liberia for the project which he described as ‘very important to the welfare of the men and women of the Armed Forces of Liberia at the Edward Binyan Kessely Military Barracks.’
He stated that the assistance from the US mission was not a surprise because the AFL has always been supported by the US Government with diverse worthy initiatives over the years. He said he looks forward to more beneficial engagements between the US government and that of Liberia owing to the historic ties that have been in existence running into years.
According to the Official page of the Ministry of National Defense, the construction of these hand pumps comes as a result of a request made by the Defense Minister of Operations, Mr. Prince K. Vincent to the United States Embassy through its Defense Attache, LTC Matt Alden, to assist in the provision of the safe drinking water at the Barracks.
These automated drilled wells are expensive dig rigs, state of the art equipment that have instantly made life easier for both the local surrounding population and the residents of the Barracks. Information closed to the project has it that certified geologists were hired to determine the best suitable locations for excavation. The depth is 45 meters deep into the ground, which will curtail water shortage and ensure the constant resupply of water. Unlike many wells, the refilling circle has no seasonal variations regardless of the climate and intake.
Some technical details of the wells are that they are intended for public and domestic usage and that they were constructed with well casing, well cap and well screens, all intended to maintain the wells opening and help prevent contaminants such as debris, insects or small animals from getting into the wells.
Meanwhile, it has been revealed that many other projects aimed at giving a boost to the careers of members of the AFL as well as initiatives that have long lasting impacts on the soldiers especially after active service are in the pipeline.
According to some of the privileged information made known to this paper, the army hierarchy is planning to reactivate the Agricultural Battalion to drive the government’s agenda for food security and empowerment and also adding technical and vocational training program to the regular academic curriculum at the Gray D. Allison High School located at the Barclay Training Center in Monrovia to expose them to skills that will provide them with job opportunities after graduation.